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A Birding-watching Mecca

Well-known bird watchers such as author Roger Tory Peterson have named the Rio Grande Valley as one of the top 12 bird-watching meccas in the United States.

Every year, thousands of dedicated naturalists travel to Alamo and the Rio Grande Valley in search of some 460 species that are generally sighted in the area. These species include many exotics and neo-tropicals.

Bird-watching enthusiasts have many places to explore including the Santa Anna Wildlife Refuge south of Alamo and nearby Bentsen State Park. Both offer a veritable bird-watchers' delight. You can see, for example, American white pelicans, bubble-gum pink roseate spoonbills, scissor-tailed flycatchers, groove-billed anis, white-tailed hawks, painted buntings, altamira orioles, an endangered aplomado falcon.

All in all, it's estimated that approximately 34 birds seen in the Rio Grande Valley are seen nowhere else in the U.S.

To accommodate the serious bird-watching aficionado, the Frontera Audubon Society sponsors the Rio Grande Valley Audubon Alert, a 24-hour recorded announcement that provides information regarding unusual bird sightings in the Valley. The hotline's number is (956) 969-2731. Or call the Santa Anna Wildlife Refuge at (956) 787-3079.

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